“The…Lord has given me…words of wisdom, so that I may know how to comfort the weary.” Isa 50:4 NLT
God has given each of us a tongue: a simple, basic tool to help us encourage one another. It has been given to each of us—young and old, rich and poor, wise and foolish. It is a tool we can use to discourage or encourage.
Too often we use our tongue to tear people down rather than build them up. And we are most critical to those we are closest to. When we criticize in the wrong spirit it undermines a person’s self-esteem. And it can make that person become critical of others too!
We also hurt people with our ridicule and sarcasm. “What makes you think you’re so smart?” or “That’s the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.” Laughing at another’s mistakes, making fun of a person and labeling them as “a klutz,” “lazy,” “sloppy,” “stupid,” or “fatt” may get a laugh from others, and even from the victim, but such words often leave painful wounds.
We can discourage people by trying to show off our superior knowledge. Sometimes we hurt them just by talking too much and leaving them no time to express themselves. It gives the impression that what they have to say is relatively unimportant compared to our words of wisdom.
Pray each day for guidance and then let God tell you what to say. And He will: “The…Lord has given me…words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he…opens my understanding to his will. The…Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened” (vv. 4-5 NLT).